So I’m pretty certain that MNA Javed Latif must have mass-forwarded Women’s Day messages on his WhatsApp, the kind that call women a wonder of the world, worthy of utmost respect. It was only the day after that he revealed his inner self when he made disgusting insinuations about Murad Saeed’s sisters. People with the mindset and disease that Javed Latif is ailing from are found everywhere, sometimes our women will also not bat an eyelid before accusing another female of being involved in some kind of chakkar (romantic liaison). They derive ultimate pleasure from slut-shaming women, reducing her other traits to pure ash. No amount of apology from Javed Latif can repair what has already been suggested, a salacious link between Murad’s sisters and Imran Khan, so let’s trash his apology into the garbage can forever. However, what was sad to observe was that opinion on the issue polarised the public and even the media personnel into two groups PTI vs PLMN; the real social menace Javed Latif’s idle commentary grazed upon was left ignored. Those who were anti-Imran Khan focused on the violence aspect, calling Murad’s furious reaction ghalat, and Imran Khan supporters saw the entire episode as a means of distraction from the Panama Leaks case. I felt bad for Murad’s sisters because I like many other women in our country have also suffered from same baseless allegations. It can be detrimental to one’s emotional well-being and can bruise people psychologically. Murad’s sisters, let’s call them sisters of Pakistan for now as we aren’t aware of their names, were also abandoned by our so-called feminists, champions of women’s rights. Within the same week, the week celebrating women internationally, Pakistani society’s dark underbelly was ripped open and colors of selective-feminism shone through. Women’s rights activists who shout at the drop of a hat and write articles upon articles on patriarchy, harassment and misogyny did not feel enough for Murad’s sisters, certainly not as much as they did for Qandeel Baloch’s right to express herself, or other females in distress. Their statements on social media pages condemning the issue had a ‘but’ attached to them, not many condemned it out rightly and called a spade a spade. Now I understand a certain brand of feminism is quite trendy at the moment but my God I can’t wait for this pseudo version of it to go out of style! This version of feminism has been the worst thing to have happened to Pakistani women, it simply encashes desi misery and glorifies our vulnerability to the west. A true feminist will never pick and choose who to protect and fight for, your feminism if its really genuine has to embrace all with the same passion. It cannot have political motives and shouldn’t be used as an axe to grind with your least favorite leader. Some women pulled out clips and quotes of Imran Khan speaking on women in the past and used it to equate to Javed Latif’s chauvinism. Our dearest ‘champions’ of women’s rights must have thought that these middle class women from Swat, KPK, with an aggressive brother like Murad who will defend them, must be living under the strictest of conditions, so why extend our compassion towards them? Every man that I spoke to regarding the incident said that if his sisters were slurred against he might have smashed some heads. That’s our eastern mentality, the anger associated with dishonoring women of the family stems from a place of tradition and one does not mess with that, most men warned. Murad Saeed should have shown some restrain and not acted in the heat of the moment, the punch was avoidable completely, but that does not absolve Javed Latif of his grievous social charges- that of instigating someone and using women to up his agenda. But my heart is still with the sisters, and will be even after the news channels move on to some other sensational news. These females will have to live with a label, and bear the gossip-laden whispers of neighbors who may smirk and say ‘humein pata hai Murad Saeed kaise agge barha hai Pti main’ (We know how Murad Saeed got ahead in PTI). Locker room talk that goes unchecked between males also needs self-censorship, it is high time we reward our women with real respect, one that expands beyond greeting cards, flowers on her birthday and random compliments on her beauty. The onus of bringing up decent men in society lies first and foremost with the mother of the male child herself, she is not just bringing up her laadlamunna only but also preparing a man that we will have to face one day in both personal or professional context. The only silver lining in this entire episode is that Murad Saeed’s sisters now have brothers spread across the country, people who are willing to take a stand for them without ever having met them.